MIL-OSI UK: Eastwood: NI cannot fall victim to politics in London

Source: Social Democratic and Labour Party of Northern Ireland

SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MLA has said that politicians in Westminster must wake up to the reality that there can be no deal without a Backstop. Mr Eastwood added that tonight’s vote does not diminish this reality, rather it merely shows how far removed Westminster is from our unique circumstances here.

Mr Eastwood commented: 

“There is no such thing as a good Brexit but if we are forced to leave the EU then Northern Ireland must to be protected through a backstop.

“The naive belief in Westminster that a better deal can be negotiated with Brussels is merely postponing the inevitable. That fact remains – there is no way to avoid a hard border in Ireland if Northern Ireland leaves the Customs Union and Single Market. That is why a backstop is essential. The SDLP have said this from day one. 

“Northern Ireland’s economy and stability can’t be sacrificed because politicians in London have failed to recognise the obvious.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Government Defeat

Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland

Comment by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“Delighted Mrs May’s treacherous deal got its just deserts in the House of Commons. It deserved no better. The PM needs to now present EU the unequivocal choice of ditch the Backstop or face No Deal. No more rollover; time to make Brussels face reality.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Now is time for a People’s Vote on Brexit, says Long

Source: Alliance – Northern Ireland

Now is time for a People’s Vote on Brexit, says Long

January 15, 2019 8:19 PM

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said now is the time for a People’s Vote, after the Prime Minister suffered a major defeat on her proposed Brexit deal.

Theresa May lost the vote in the House of Commons by 230, the largest defeat for a sitting UK Government in history. Mrs Long said it was frustrating but not surprising Parliament is so divided over the issue.

“What is surprising is the margin of the defeat suffered by the Government. However, that should not cloud the fact those who rejected the deal did so for vastly different reasons,” she said.

“Alliance has always been clear there is no such thing as a good or sensible Brexit. The Brexit process has been defined by a flawed concept, incompatible red-lines, unrealistic expectations and imaginary solutions. Even today, 30 months on, there is still no clarity on what the UK wants in terms of Brexit.

“Parliament last week rejected a no deal Brexit, recognising it would be disaster for the UK, and a catastrophe for Northern Ireland.

“Now they have rejected the Withdrawal Agreement, despite the fact any negotiated Brexit will require a Withdrawal Agreement, including an open-ended, all weather backstop. This reality cannot be escaped or avoided. They have also comprehensively failed to offer any single alternative which commands a majority.

“It is now clear the only coherent way forward is to have a People’s Vote. Democracy is an active process, and given what we now know and the ongoing deadlock, the people of UK must have the right to have their say.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Taoiseach needs to stand firm on backstop – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald, speaking after British politicians rejected the Brexit deal, said that Ireland’s people, Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s peace process all need to be protected and that the Taoiseach needs to stand firm on the backstop.
Teachta McDonald earlier attended a briefing on the contingency plans from Tánaiste Simon Coveney.
She said;
“The contingency plans place a heavy emphasis on East-West relations and arrangements but the situation regarding Ireland remains unchanged.
“Ireland’s people, Ireland’s economy and Ireland’s peace process all need to be protected as we go forward now.
“The Taoiseach and the Tánaiste and our partners at a European level need to stand firm and not move away from or attempt to dilute the backstop.
“We need to say clearly to the British that if they wish to Brexit then that’s a matter for themselves but any Brexit agreement needs to recognise, understand and protect the people, the economy and the peace process on this island.”
ENDS

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MIL-OSI UK: People’s Vote a must following Government Brexit deal defeat

Source: The Green Party in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 15 September 2019
Clare Bailey MLA, leader of the Green Party has said that the government defeat on the EU Brexit deal means a People’s Vote is a must.
Clare Bailey MLA said: “Westminster and Theresa May’s government are in chaos, a People’s Vote is a must.
“The option to remain must be on the table as part of a People’s Vote.
“The conditions under which the UK will leave the European Union have been set out and the final say must sit with the people.
“We know that the Leave campaign broke electoral law, we know that reaping an additional £350m for the NHS was a fiction and we know that the deal on the table is opposed by MPs.
“The majority of people across Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and the polls tell us that most people would swing to remain if a vote happened tomorrow.”
Clare Bailey MLA concluded:
“The Tories and Labour Party are hopelessly divided and there is no consensus on a way forward – a People’s Vote can push through the parliamentary impasse.”
ENDS
Media contact
Sinead McIvor – 07701 302 498

Tags: Brexit, Clare Bailey MLA, Green Party, Green Party NI, People’s Vote
by Clare Bailey MLA

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MIL-OSI UK: Turkey suspending live exports of cattle “a further setback for Irish beef farmers” – Martin Kenny TD

Source: Sinn Féin

Turkey suspending live exports of cattle “a further setback for Irish beef farmers” – Martin Kenny TD | Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin – On Your Side

15 January, 2019 – by Martin Kenny TD

Sinn Féin Agricultural spokesperson Martin Kenny TD has described the news that Turkey has suspended live exports of cattle as “a further setback for Irish beef farmers.”
Deputy Kenny said;
“Live exports is a very important part of the Irish beef sector and it will be a huge loss to farmers bringing cattle to market.  
“There will be a noticeable loss of buyers for the export market around rings in markets up and down the country. 
“I have previously called on the Minister to develop more export markets to ensure there is some competition for Irish meat factory cartel.
“I will be raising this again with the Minister as action needs to be taken to ensure Irish beef farmers are protected especially with Brexit coming down the tracks.”

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MIL-OSI UK: Taoiseach must engage with Nurses & Midwives Union Representatives – Pearse Doherty TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Dáil Deputy Leader Pearse Doherty has told the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar that he must engage with Union representatives of Nurses & Midwives who are set to engage in strike action. The Donegal TD was speaking to Taoiseach Varadkar at Leaders’ Questions earlier today.
In just over a fortnight’s time, members of the INMO are due to commence industrial action, with a series of 24-hour stoppages planned over the coming weeks.
Teachta Doherty said;
“Strike action is the last thing that nurses and midwives – or any medical professional for that matter – wants to have to undertake Taoiseach, but our nurses and midwives have been forced to undertake such action as a result of the ignorance, arrogance, and ineptitude of you and your government.
“Nurses, midwives and their Unions have continuously sought proper engagement with the Minister for Health, as well as the Minister for Finance, to address the problem of staff shortages, as well pay issues, to avert industrial action but their concerns have been routinely ignored.
“It is staff in our hospitals who have acted in a responsible and mature manner. You however, have decided to disengage.
“Nurses and midwives deserve our full support in their demand for a better health service that treats them as essential, skilled workers with dignity and value.
“For years now, nurses and midwives and their Unions have offered up realistic proposals to try and address it.
“In April last year, the Dáil also passed a Sinn Féin motion calling for the introduction of recruitment and retention measures based on realistic proposals which prioritise pay.
“Will you now concede that you have failed to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis Taoiseach? Will you accept that pay is an issue that needs to be addressed?
“Will you now commit to a proper engagement with Unions so that our nurses and midwives get what they deserve – a fair deal?”

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MIL-OSI UK: Government must prioritise new Mental Health Bill in 2019 – Pat Buckley TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Fein Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has called for the government to prioritise the delivery of a new bill on Mental Health Bill to address outstanding patients rights issues.
Teachta Buckley was responding to the release of the government Spring Legislative Programme which includes the Mental Health (Amendment) Bill to implement the recommendations of the Expert Review Group published in late 2014. The Bill has previously been listed in Legislative programmes as far back as Autumn 2017 with little progress.
Deputy Buckley said;
“I am glad to see that the government still lists its intent to address the Expert Group’s recommendations in their Mental Health (Amendment) Bill. Unfortunately it is hard to put much faith in this listing due to the fact that the Bill in question has been at roughly the same stage since Autumn 2017 when it was first mentioned.
“The Bill was first listed by the government in Autumn 2017 with the status of ‘Work is progressing’ which was changed to ‘Draft heads in preparation’ in 2018 and is listed under the same vague status now in the new Spring 2019 Legislative programme.
“Much of the work has not yet been done or even started it would seem at this stage. This is particularly disappointing when you consider that the government has not published a single piece of major legislation on Mental Health since its establishment nearly three years ago.
“Expert Group have themselves done a lot of work in their comprehensive report into the flaws of the existing legislation and the needed reform. An evolving understanding of these issues has also been aided by the work of groups like Mental Health Reform which published its own analysis of the review in 2015 and has worked along with a range of stakeholders and campaigners to continue to highlight the need for new legislation.
“The government must now take from this work and draft quickly the legislation that has been plainly needed for a number of years. Of course it is essential that the legislation is done right but so far years of foot dragging have done nothing to improve the situation.
“I also call on the government to re-establish the Committee on the Future of Mental Health to aid in this developing work and to ensure that reform is timely and to the highest standard.”
ENDS

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MIL-OSI UK: Craigavon Leisure Centre Decision Deferred

Source: Sinn Féin

Craigavon Leisure Centre Decision Deferred | Sinn Féin

Sinn Féin – On Your Side

15 January, 2019 – by Liam Mackle

Sinn Féin Councillors in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council have secured the deferral of a decision on the working model for Craigavon’s new £30m Leisure Centre. The building of the Leisure Centre is expected to be completed in Summer 2020 and debate is ongoing regarding its operational model. 
Sinn Féin Deputy Group Leader, Cllr Liam Mackle has said existing leisure staff and their union representatives must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the discussion.
Cllr Mackle said:
 “We have been engaging with the unions and leisure staff and tonight proposed that a decision be deferred until the unions have had an opportunity to present to councillors.“We are pleased this proposal enjoyed all party support. A special meeting of the committee will now be scheduled for February. 
“Our position remains – this new £30m leisure facility funded by the ratepayer should remain in council ownership and be delivered by our capable and talented leisure staff.” 

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MIL-OSI UK: A New Mental Health Bill must be prioritised in 2019 – Pat Buckley TD

Source: Sinn Féin

15 January, 2019 – by Pat Buckley TD

Sinn Fein’s Mental Health spokesperson Pat Buckley TD has called for the government to prioritise the delivery of a new bill on Mental Health to address outstanding patients rights issues.The Cork East TD was responding to the release of the government Spring Legislative Programme which includes a new bill to implement the recommendations of the Expert Review Group which were published in late 2014. Deputy Buckley said; “I am glad to see that the government lists its intent to address the Expert Groups recommendations in their Mental Health (Amendment) Bill.”Unfortunately much of the work has not yet been done or even started it would seem as the status of the bill is only at early drafting.”This is particularly disappointing when you consider that the government has not published a single piece of major legislation on Mental Health since its establishment nearly 3 years ago. “Much of the work has already been done by the Expert Group themselves in their comprehensive report into the flaws of the existing legislation and the needed reform.”An evolving understanding of these issues has also been aided by the work of groups like Mental Health Reform which published its own analysis of the review in 2015 and has worked along with a range of stakeholders and campaigners to continue to highlight the need for new legislation. “The government must now take from this work and draft quickly the legislation that has been plainly needed for a number of years.”Of course it is essential that the legislation is done right but so far years of foot dragging have done nothing to improve the situation. “I also call on the government to re-establish the Committee on the Future of Mental Health to aid in this developing work and to ensure that reform is timely and to the highest standard.”

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